Rip Currents: What you need to know

NEW JERSEY (WTXF) Summer is here and everyone's heading to the shore!

Yet with all the excitement, comes a sad reality -- dangerous, rip currents, also known as rip tides.

In the past few weeks, we've heard more about these "narrow channels of fast-moving water" then we would like to!

Two people lost their lives as a result of rip tides on long beach island.

24-year-old Kristi Pisano died after being swept out into the ocean.

While 55-year-old, James Clarke, suffered a heart attack and died, after rescuing his son and two other boys.

And just last week a Trenton, New Jersey woman got caught up in a rip current off the coast of alantic city, nearly drowning.

That current actually swept three people into the ocean.

Current flow speeds are typically 1-2 mph but they can reach 4.5 MPH, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer.

The bigger the waves the stronger the currents. Don't underestimate the power of the water on any occasion. Rips can be very difficult to spot, but sometimes can be identified by a channel of churning, choppy water or debris on the sea's surface